Navigation auf


Department of Religious Studies

Christoph Uehlinger

Christoph Uehlinger, Prof. Dr.

  • Professor für historische und vergleichende Religionswissenschaft
+41 44 634 47 32
Religionswissenschaftliches Seminar, Kantonsschulstrasse 1, 8001 Zürich
Room number

1. Short CV

Born October 1, 1958, in Zurich, 1977–82 studies in (Roman-Catholic) Theology in Fribourg and Jerusalem, wild cards in Egyptology and ancient Near Eastern studies in Fribourg, Bern and London; 1989 PhD, 1993 habilitation in Fribourg (Old Testament and Biblical World), 1984–89 assistant, 1989–91 lecturer, 1991–2003 senior lecturer at the Biblical Institute/Department of Biblical Studies, University of Fribourg (1998–2001 Department chair). Since October 1, 2003, full professor in History of Religions/Comparative Religion, University of Zurich; 2006–2011 founding chair, 2015–2019 chair of UZH’s Department of Religious Studies. Professor emeritus since February 1, 2024.
Since 2006 member, 2008–2010 co-director of URPP "Asia and Europe". 1993–2003 chairman Swiss Society of Ancient Near Eastern Studies (SGOA); 2006–2011 co-chair, 2011–2017 treasurer Swiss Society for the Study of Religions (SGR). Senior editor (with S. Bickel, C. Mittermayer, M. Novák and T. Römer) of the series Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis (OBO) and Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis. Series archaeologica (OBO SA); co-editor Explorations in the History of Religions / Religionsgeschichtliche Versuche und Vorarbeiten (RGVV), Zürcher Bibelkommentare. Altes Testament (TVZ) and CULTuREL.
Married and happily so, three adult children (*1984, *1987, *1990), four grandchildren.

2. Research interests

  • History of Religions (esp. Near Eastern and Mediterranean antiquity)
  • Judaism – Christianities – Islam
  • Visible / Material Religion
  • Method and Theory in the Study of Religion\s

3. Complete List of Publications

4. Selected publications (in English; see German page for more)

In a nutshell

  • “Stamp Seals and the Song of Songs”, in: Society of Biblical Literature – Bible Odyssey Project, 2015.
  • "Tower of Babel and Mesopotamian Influence?”, in: Society of Biblical Literature – Bible Odyssey Project, 2013.


  • [With Bertrand Dufour, Fabian Pfitzmann and Thomas Römer, Hg.] Entre dieux et hommes : anges, démons et autres figures intermédiaires. Actes du colloque organisé par le Collège de France, Paris, les 19 et 20 mai 2014 (Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis, 286), Fribourg: Academic Press & Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2017. ZORA (full text)
  • [With Konrad Schmid, Hg.] Laws of Heaven, Laws of Nature: Legal Interpretations of Cosmic Phenomena in the Ancient World (Orbis Biblicus et Orienta­lis, 276), Fribourg: Academic Press & Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016. ZORA (full text)
  • [With Dorothea Lüddeckens and Rafael Walthert, Hg.] Die Sichtbarkeit religiöser Identität. Repräsentation – Differenz – Konflikt (CULTuREL, 4), Zürich, Pano Verlag, 2013). ZORA
  • [With Othmar Keel] Göttinnen, Götter und Gottessymbole. Neue Erkenntnisse zur Religionsgeschichte Kanaans und Israels aufgrund bislang unerschlossener ikonographischer Quellen (Quaestiones disputatae, 134), Freiburg i. Br.: Herder, 1992; letzte erweiterte Neuauflage Freiburg Schweiz: Academic Press & Bibel+Orient Museum, 62010; engl. 1998 [“Biblical Archaeology Society Publication Award: Best Scholarly Book on Biblical Archaeology”, 1999], frz. 2001. University of Tübingen (full text)
  • [With Elena Mango und Joachim Marzahn] Könige am Tigris. Medien assyrischer Herrschaft, Zürich: NZZ Verlag, 2008. ZORA
  • [With Claudia E. Suter, Hg.] Crafts and Images in Contact. Studies on Eastern Mediterranean art of the first millennium BCE (Orbis Biblicus et Orienta­lis, 210), Fribourg: Academic Press & Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2005. ZORA (full text)
  • Images as media. Sources for the cultural history of the Ancient Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean (Ist millennium BCE) (Orbis Biblicus et Orienta­lis, 175), Fribourg: Academic Press & Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2000. ZORA (full text)
  • Weltreich und "eine Rede". Eine neue Deutung der sog. 'Turmbauerzählung' (Gen 11,1-9) (Orbis Biblicus et Orienta­lis, 101), Freiburg Schweiz: Universitätsverlag & Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1990 ["Hanns-Lilje-Preis zur Förderung der theologischen Wissenschaft", Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, 1992]. ZORA (full text)

Contributions to edited volumes

  • [With Ariel Winderbaum und Yehiel Zelinger] A Seventh-Century BCE Cylinder Seal from Jerusalem Depicting Worship of the Moon God’s Cult Emblem, in: S. Münger, Nancy Rahn & P. Wyssmann (eds), „Trinkt von dem Wein, den ich mischte!“ / “Drink ft he wine which I have mingled!” (FS Silvia Schroer; Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis, 303). Leuven: Peeters, 2023, 552–590.
  • Beyond 'Image Ban' and 'Aniconism': Reconfiguring Ancient Israelite and Early Jewish Religion\s in a Visual and Material Religion Perspective, in: Birgit Meyer & Terje Stordalen (eds.), Figuration and Sensation of the Unseen in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Contested Desires (Bloomsbury Studies in Material Religion), London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019, 99-123, 286-287, 304-307. PDF (PDF, 4 MB)
  • Learning by Doing – Distinguishing Different Hands at Work in the Drawings and Paintings of Kuntillet ʽAjrud, in: I. Finkelstein, C. Robin & T. Römer (eds.), Alphabets, Texts and Artefacts in the Ancient Near East: Studies Presented to Benjamin Sass, Paris: Van Dieren, 2016, 489-511. PDF (PDF, 1 MB)
  • Is the Critical, Academic Study of the Bible Inextricably Bound to the Destinies of Theology?, in: Lester L. Grabbe & Marjo Korpel (eds.), Open-mindedness in the Bible and Beyond. A Volume of Studies in Honour of Bob Becking (Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, 616), London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015, 287-302. PDF (PDF, 1 MB)
  • Neither Eyewitnesses, nor Windows to the Past, but Valuable Testimony in its Own Right. Remarks on Iconography, Source Criticism, and Ancient Data Processing, in: H. G. M. Williamson (ed.), Understanding the History of Ancient Israel (Proceedings of the British Academy, 143), Oxford – New York: Oxford University Press, 2007, 173-228. PDF (PDF, 9 MB)
  • Arad, Qitmit – Judahite Aniconism vs. Edomite Iconic Cult? Questioning the Evidence, in: G. Beckman & T. J. Lewis (eds.), Texts, Artifacts and Images. Revealing Ancient Israelite Religion (Brown Judaic Studies, 346), Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 2007, 80-112. PDF (PDF, 2 MB)
  • Visual Representation: Early Israel and Judaism, in: Sarah I. Johnson (ed.), Religions of the Ancient World: A Guide (Harvard University Press Reference Library), Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004, 608-610. PDF (PDF, 1 MB)
  • Clio in a World of Pictures – Another Look at the Lachish Reliefs from Sennacherib’s Southwest Palace at Nineveh, in: L.L. Grabbe (ed.), ‘Shut Up Like A Bird in a Cage’: The Invasion of Sennacherib in 701 BCE (ESHM 4; JSOT.S 363), Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2003, 221-305. PDF (PDF, 5 MB)
  • Anthropomorphic Cult Statuary in Iron Age Palestine and the Search for Yahweh’s Cult Images, in: K. van der Toorn (ed.), The Image and the Book: Iconic Cults, Aniconism, and the Veneration of the Holy Book in Israel and the Ancient Near East (Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology, 21), Leuven: Peeters, 1997, 97-156. PDF (PDF, 3 MB)

Articles in peer-reviewed journals

  • Mastering the Seven-Headed Serpent: A Stamp Seal from Hazor Provides a Mising Link Between Cuneiform and Biblical Mythology: Near Eastern Archaeology 87 (1, 2024; Special issue: Stamp Seals from the Southern Levant, Part II, eds Nadia Ben-Marzouk and Ben Greet) 14–19.
  • Honoring a Legacy, Inviting a New Generation: A Very Brief Introduction to the Stamp Seals from the Southern Levant Project: Near Eastern Archaeology 86 (4, 2023; Special issue: Stamp Seals from the Southern Levant, Part I, eds Nadia Ben-Marzouk and Ben Greet) 256–265.
  • Companhias incômodas para Javé? Deusas no mundo do Antigo Israel e arredores: Man­drágora (Revista do Grupo de Estudos de Gênero e Religião, Metodista São Paulo) 27 (2, 2019) 5–31. PDF (PDF, 790 KB)
  • Distinctive or diverse? Conceptualizing ancient Israelite religion in its southern Levantine setting: Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel 4 (1, 2015: Commonalities and Differences: Religion(s) of Iron Age II Israel and Judah in Context) 1-24. PDF (PDF, 1 MB)
  • Approaches to Visual Culture and Religion: Disciplinary Trajectories, Interdisciplinary Connections, and Some Conditions for Further Progress: Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 27 (4-5, 2015; “Visual Culture and Religious Studies”, ed. Daniel Dubuisson) 384-422. PDF (PDF, 392 KB)
  • Virtual Vision vs. Actual Show: Strategies of Visualization in the Book of Ezekiel: Welt des Orients 45 (1, 2015: Ezekiel in its Babylonian Context) 62-84. PDF (PDF, 189 KB)
  • Religion in the Ancient Levant: Confronting Gazes Now and Then: Material Religion 8 (4, 2012) 525-527 [in conversation with Terje Størdalen, Locating the Textual Gaze: Then and Now, ibid. 521-524; further responses by A. S. Amar and Birgit Meyer]. PDF (PDF, 156 KB)
  • [With Susanne Müller Trufaut] Ezekiel 1, Babylonian cosmological scholarship and iconography: attempts at further refinement: Theologische Zeitschrift 57 (2001) 140-171. PDF (PDF, 3 MB)
  • The “Canaanites” and other ‘Pre-Israelite’ Peoples in Story and History. Part I: Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Theologie 46 (1999) 546-578; Part II: Freiburger Zeitschrft für Philosophie und Theologie 47 (2000) 173-198. PDF (PDF, 2 MB)

Dictionary entries

  • [with Jürg Eggler] Art. "Seal/s and Sealing/s“, in: Encyclopedia of Material Culture in the Biblical World. A New Biblisches Reallexikon. Eds. A. Berlejung, P.M.M. Daviau, J. Kamlah & G. Lehmann. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2022, 832-861.
  • Religion Past and Present: Encyclopedia of Theology and Religion, Leiden etc.: Brill, 2007ff: u. a. “Amulet”, “Ashdod”, “Ashkelon”, “Bullae and Seals”, “Composite beings”, “Dragon”, “Gaza”, “God: Representations and symbols”, “Iconography”, “Ivory carving”, “Jewelry”, “Moon”, “Numismatics”, “Snake”, “Seals, stamps”, “Symbol, symbol theories”, “Veneration of images”.
  • Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, Leiden: Brill, 1995, 2nd ed. 1999: „Leviathan“, „Nimrod“, „Nisrok“, „Riding Horseman“.

Review articles

  • Rez. Michael Stausberg & Steven Engler (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Study of Religion, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, ppb 2019: Religion 50 (2020) [online; in press]. PDF (PDF, 147 KB)
  • Rez. Adam J. Silverstein, Guy G. Stroumsa & Moshe Blidstein (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Abrahamic Religions, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015: Numen 67 (4, 2020) 403–409. ZORA
  • Rez. Uzi Leibner & Catherine Hezser (eds.), Jewish Art in Its Late Antique Context (Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 163), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016: Numen 67 (1, 2020) 79–92. ZORA
  • Rez. Renaud Gagné, Simon Goldhill & Geoffrey E.R. Lloyd (eds.), Regimes of Comparatism: Frameworks of Comparison in History, Religion and Anthropology (Jerusalem Studies in Religion and Culture, 24; Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2019: Zeitschrift für Religions­wissenschaft 27 (2, 2019) 332–335. ZORA
  • Rez. Arie L. Molendijk, Friedrich Max Müller and the Sacred Books of the East, Oxford – New York: Oxford University Press, 2016: Religion 48 (2, 2018) 302–304. PDF (PDF, 517 KB)
  • Rez. Michael Shenkar, Intangible Spirits and Graven Images: The Iconography of Deities in the Pre-Islamic Iranian World (Magical and Religious Literature of Late Antiquity, 4), Leiden – Boston: Brill, 2014: Numen 65 (1, 2018) 109–116. PDF (PDF, 198 KB)
  • Rez. W. G. Lambert, Ancient Mesopotamian Religion and Mythology. Selected Essays. Edited by A.R. George and T.M. Oshima (Orientalische Religionen in der Antike, 15), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016: Numen 64 (1, 2017) 109-113. PDF (PDF, 427 KB)
  • Interested companionship: a review article [Rez. John R. Hinnells (ed.), The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion, London – New York: Routledge, 2005; Robert A. Segal (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to the Study of Religion, Malden, MA – Oxford – Carlton: Blackwell Publishing, 2006]: Numen 54 (2006) 359-384. PDF (PDF, 204 KB)
  • Rez. J. Cheryl Exum, Song of Songs (Old Testament Library), Louisville, KT: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005: Review of Biblical Literature 09/2006 (10 pp.), PDF (PDF, 170 KB)
  • Rez. Peter Antes, Armin W. Geertz, Randi R. Warne (eds.), New Approaches to the Study of Religion. Vol. 1: Regional, Critical, and Historical Approaches; Vol. 2: Textual, Comparative, Sociological, and Cognitive Approaches (Religion and Reason, 42-43), Berlin – New York: W. de Gruyter, 2004: Theologische Literaturzeitung 131 (6, 2006) 689-692. PDF (PDF, 47 KB)
  • Rez. Mark S. Smith, The Early History of God. Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel. Second edition, with a foreword by Patrick D. Miller (The Biblical Resource Series), Grand Rapids, MI – Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company & Dearborn, MI: Dove Booksellers, 2002: Review of Biblical Literature 06/2003 (6 pp.) PDF (PDF, 170 KB)
  • Westsemitisch beschriftete Stempelsiegel: ein Corpus und neue Fragen (Rez. N. Avigad – B. Sass, Corpus of West Semitic Stamp Seals, Jerusalem 1997): Biblica 79 (1998) 103-119. PDF (PDF, 2919 KB)
  • Israelite Aniconism in Context (Rez. T.N.D. Mettinger, No Graven Image? Israelite Aniconism in Its Ancient Near Eastern Context [ConBOT 42], Stockholm 1995): Biblica 77 (1996) 540-549. PDF (PDF, 780 KB)

5. Publications on Repositories